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Citric Acid in regards to meat care?

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  • Citric Acid in regards to meat care?

    I read on a thread here that they were "prepared to brush the meat with citric acid". Does this actually help the preservation? I would like to know as I go on a 2 week fly out for caribou and black bear in 2 weeks...
    Thank you much.

  • #2
    Larry Bartletts article

    On the Outdoors Directory homepage under the "Magazine" link there's a bunch of good article's to read. Here's the article posted there that's written by Larry Bartlett, Why and How to Use Citric Acid on Game Meat

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    • #3
      That was very interesting, thank you for the link

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      • #4
        Citric acid

        I've always sprayed the citric acid on the meat bag asap after I put the meat in. That way it is absorbed by the cloth and remains longer.

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        • #5
          Citric acid or not?

          The primary purpose of citric acid for the care of meat is to kill or reduce the growth of surface bacteria on your game meat. A secondary consideration is to burn flies that may land on the game bags, in an attempt to keep them from laying eggs on the bags. As to the fly issue, you should have no problem with eggs getting to the meat, if the bags are of a material that won't let fly eggs pass through. So in a way, it may be a waste of time and material to treat the bags at all. It's just personal preference, but I've never seen a need to do it. As to the bacteria issue, there is some disagreement as to how important this is. Bacteria generally need a moist area in which to reproduce. The general rule with meat care is to let the surface of the meat glaze over until it's dry. This will dramatically slow the bacteria growth curve. Again, I've never had a need to spray my game meat with citric acid, but clearly a lot of folks do it. In twenty years of field experience with this, I have never lost meat to spoilage in the field, so this is obviously working for me. Still, it's another tool available to you.

          In your situation, since you'll be on a longer hunt (14 days) and will be hunting during August (our warmest month as a rule- well, the first half of August is, anyway), you might consider using citric acid.

          Again; citric acid powder is not essential to good meat care, but it is a tool that can buy you some additional time in the field. This could be really important if you find yourself in warm, rainy conditions. If the air is really humid you could have a problem getting the meat to properly glaze over.

          Hope it helps!

          -Mike
          Michael Strahan
          Site Owner
          Alaska Hunt Consultant
          1 (907) 229-4501

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          • #6
            Meat care

            I also have hunted in AK for 20+ years and never had a problem with meat spoilage on a hunt using only pillow cases and a tarp. I remember one year hunting the Mulchatna early season and it was 70-80 every day and still no problem. You just follow the two principals: cool and dry. You want air to circulate around the meat and the tarp to shed sun and water and then the meat holds the cool air from the night during the day. If you are above treeline you will need to use rocks to lay the meat on you need to minimize contact with the rocks and rotate the meat frequently. (Basically you have to care for the meat as if it were your baby) The exception to this is float trips which I rarely do. Then its a nightmare because you have to find a new cool dry place every night and in the raft during the day and rivers and rafts are wet as are the areas along rivers and there are lots of bugs. Then you need citric acid, constant care and a whole lot of luck to keep the meat fresh. One trip we were able to lay the meat in the canoe off the bottom and the cool water under the canoe helped which is an idea. Good luck.
            I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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            • #7
              dry bags

              meat kept in properly seled dry bags can keep the meat cool in the water.

              First check to make sure the the dry bag is sealed correctly and watertight. in some cases older bags can develop pin hile leaks. Also dry bags are not water proof. Just leak resistant.

              Final thought: a dry bag can hold water in as easily as water out. so check it at breaks and such to make sure that your seal is secure.

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              • #8
                For those that used it, how much citric acid should I carry to the field to use with a spray bottle? 1lbs or 10lbs? 7 hunt days, at least 4 caribou or other animals that we see.
                My WAC Hunt
                http://www.hinkleyfamily.homestead.c...kaCaribou.html
                My Delta Management Area (DMA - DS204) Hunt
                http://alaskasheephunt.homestead.com/

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                • #9
                  meat care

                  I'm going out tomorrow for a moose close to home. If I manage to get one, and have it to the butcher's by Monday, would I have to do any additional meat maintenance? I've also heard vegetable oil works????
                  Johnny

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                  • #10
                    Citric acid quantity

                    Originally posted by winkhink
                    For those that used it, how much citric acid should I carry to the field to use with a spray bottle? 1lbs or 10lbs? 7 hunt days, at least 4 caribou or other animals that we see.
                    You're only going to need a few ounces of powder in a 16 oz container of purified water. Make sure your water is filtered or boiled before you mix it up! Otherwise, you're spraying giardia cysts and cryptosporidium on your fresh meat! It will probably cook out, but why take chances?

                    -Mike
                    Michael Strahan
                    Site Owner
                    Alaska Hunt Consultant
                    1 (907) 229-4501

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Short-term meat care

                      Originally posted by skydiver_99654
                      I'm going out tomorrow for a moose close to home. If I manage to get one, and have it to the butcher's by Monday, would I have to do any additional meat maintenance? I've also heard vegetable oil works????
                      Johnny
                      Johnny,

                      In your situation all you need to do is keep it cool, dry and clean. No additional treatment will be necessary. I'd avoid hanging it in a heated garage though.

                      -Mike
                      Michael Strahan
                      Site Owner
                      Alaska Hunt Consultant
                      1 (907) 229-4501

                      Comment

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